New York residents may have heard that on the morning of Nov. 18, an employee with the industrial company Lafarge Canada was struck by a rail car in Seattle’s Industrial District and, despite the efforts of co-workers and medics, died from his injuries. It is the sort of case that could lead to a claim under the Federal Employers’ Liability Act.
The Seattle Police Department is still investigating the accident, but the rail car in question, which was remotely controlled, is not considered a fast-moving type. A nearby resident who has observed these rail cars stated that they will go about 5 miles an hour at the most. It was determined that the rail car was, indeed, moving at a low speed at the time of the incident.
Police and medics received reports of the incident around 9:10 a.m. No information on the victim has been released. Lafarge Canada has set up an employee assistance program to help co-workers cope with the tragedy, and it is cooperating fully in the investigation. The company made no comment beyond that.
FELA covers anyone who incurs a railway injury, but to receive benefits, victims must file FELA claims. The act also covers those who die in railway accidents, but in that case, the family must file. FELA claims, it should be noted, are not like workers’ compensation claims. One major difference is that plaintiffs must prove the other side’s negligence in FELA claims.
Additionally, FELA allows the railroad company to lower the amount recoverable depending on the plaintiff’s degree of fault. To ensure a reasonable settlement, then, victims may want to hire an attorney. The attorney might hire third parties to investigate the accident based on reports and other evidence.